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The installation of solar PV systems involves not only performance and efficiency tests at the time of installation, but also checks to ensure that the system has been wired correctly and safely. These should be repeated periodically to determine ongoing safety and performance.

'IEC 62446:2016 Grid connected PV systems' defines the minimum requirements for solar PV system documentation, commissioning tests and inspection. Although it is not mandatory, various countries have already adopted the principles of IEC 62446:2016 in their national accreditation schemes, including the MCS in the UK.

In summary, the standard sets out the testing, information and documentation that should be provided to the customer following the installation of a solar module system and also the initial (and periodic) electrical inspection and testing required.

The absolute minimum testing that needs to be undertaken during commissioning involves continuity measurements, open circuit voltage, short circuit current, insulation and irradiance. I-V curve tracing can also be added to this list to assess the performance characteristics of the installed system.

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